Veteran Llandovery prop Andrew Jones has been invited to play for the Barbarians, the world's most famous touring rugby side writes Huw S Thomas.
He becomes the second player to be selected for the invitation side while in the Drovers after Cerith Rees in 2011 although current Llandovery loose-head Dorian Williams turned out for the Baa Baas in 2007 whilst playing for London Welsh.
Jones, aged 40, will play against Irish side Clontarf RC at Castle Avenue, Dublin, on Thursday, April 24, in a special fixture to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, when the Vikings were defeated in one of the country's most famous battles.
The game will take place exactly 1,000 years to the day of the battle.
Everyone attached to Llandovery are delighted as the tight-head has been the cornerstone of the Llandovery pack over some 20 years.
He captained the side in six successive years, has played 552 games for the Towy Valley club and was in the side that won the Konica Minolta Cup in 2007.
He gains recognition for his wonderful service to the club in particular and the cause of rugby at large.
Some of the game's most talented and exciting players have worn the iconic black and white jersey and the honour accorded to the Drover by the Barbarians has been received with huge joy at both club and community level.
Llandovery coach Lyndon Lewis was one of those thrilled by the selection.
“Andrew has been the rock of the Llandovery pack as long as I can remember ” said Lewis.
“Our core aims are to provide an environment where young players can develop and progress into the professional game. To enable this to happen it is vital to have some senior experienced players that promote the morals and values necessary to succeed in life and rugby. Many of these cannot be gained in a coaching manual.”
“Andrew exhibits all these values and has been instrumental is supporting and developing many of the younger players in our squad. He has a hard, rugged edge and a "never say die" attitude. He is known throughout Wales in the Premiership as being an outstanding scrummager and has given many a professional prop a tough day on the park.”
“We cannot speak higher of him as a set of coaches, his contribution at Llandovery is immeasurable and this honour crowns a great career.”
Llandovery Mayor David Rees added his congratulations.
“As a town we are very proud to see a local boy – born and bred in the town and a real Cyw Bawddwr - achieve a rugby honour second only to a Welsh cap,” said season ticket holder Rees.
“It is hugely rewarding for Andrew and all connected with both the town and the club.”